What is your best memory of pride?
The first Pride I went to was the same year the film of the same name came out, and so the best bit of the march was the re-united 'Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants' bloc. I was a baby tran, completely stealth at at my work where being out was essentially an unspoken taboo. Arm in arm with my queer family, we were walking down Regent St when I saw a group of my colleagues, and they saw me too. Their faces are etched on my memory; a mix of shock, excitement and confusion. For all the weird feelings of an accidental coming-out to people who could have made my life difficult, it was a huge release, just a moment of pure joy.
What does Pride mean to you?
Over the last couple of years I have felt conflicted about Pride. I feel like the protest element is more important than ever but certain iterations of it, like Manchester Pride, have become more and more expensive, shutting out some of the people who need it most. I've also had to work in the Village during Pride, and being at the sharp end of some of that commercialism completely deflated the celebration entirely. I wanted to feel stronger and empowered but I just felt alienated.
This year, I want to make sure that I experience Pride as a reconnection to the principles that mean the most to me. For me, Pride has to mean solidarity, has to say that none of us are free until all of us are. Pride can offer a glimpse of the kind of emancipated world we desire, one we would arrive at not without struggle. When I came out, there was this impression that, despite everything, 'it gets better'. I think if you look at how people are hurting from austerity, from border regimes, from climate breakdown – it doesn't just get better by default, we have to really fight for it. And so Pride needs to be our time – through joy, rage and compassion – to do that.
P.S. Treat people who work at Pride with respect! Seriously.